Accessibility Tools

Postop Instructions

  1. Observe the incisions for signs of infections
  2. Call Park’s office if there are any of the following signs:
    1. Fever over 101 degree F, sweats, chills
    2. Increasing redness
    3. Unusual drainage and/or discharge
    4. Worsening swelling
    5. Any signs of infection
    6. Worsening pain despite pain medications
    7. Swollen painful calf with or without fever
    8. Changing neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness, tingling, loss of bowel and bladder function (urinary/bowel incontinence, numbness around genitalia and/or anus)
  3. Cervical spine patients:
    1. Any increased neck swelling
    2. Worsening hoarseness
    3. Shortness of breath
    4. Increased difficulty swallowing

Post-operative Medications

  1. Do not resume blood thinners for 3-5 days after surgery unless directed by Dr. Park. If you are at risk of heart related complications (heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation), you may restart as early as 48 hours after surgery. Please discuss this with Dr. Park and your PCP.
  2. You may resume most other home medications as directed by your PCP.

Post-Operative Activity

  1. Spinal restrictions: No deep bending to touch your toes, twisting to reach far behind you, lifting more than 10-15 lbs, sitting for more than 1 hour at a time for at least 1 month after endoscopic discectomy and decompression surgeries. If an endoscopic fusion surgery was performed, then the restrictions are for at least 3 months.
    1. General rule of thumb: Avoid extremes of Small movements for bending and twisting is ok as long as it does not cause pain and symptoms.
  2. Slowly ramp up walking everyday.
    1. Start with walking around the house on day 1, then outside the house on day 2.
    2. Start with 5-10 minutes of walking twice per day, then slowly increase to three times per day as you can tolerate over the next 1-2 weeks.
    3. Continue to increase over 1 month after surgery to 20 minutes of walking three times per day as you can tolerate.
    4. Use the railing when climbing stairs and slowly go one step at a time.
  3. No PT until after 1 month after surgery to allow you to recover and heal sufficiently from surgery (unless recommended by PT in the hospital AND ordered by Park).
    1. Walking is the best therapy in the first 1 month after surgery.
    2. Please contact Dr. Park’s office to send PT referrals to your facility of choice to start 1 month after surgery.
  4. If you are given a brace, keep the brace on at all times until cleared by Park.
    1. You may remove temporarily for personal hygiene as necessary.
  5. Use assistive devices (wheelchairs, walker, crutches, canes) as directed by Park and physical therapist.
  6. Avoid strenuous activity, driving an automobile, returning to work or operating any power equipment until cleared by Dr. Park.
    1. General rule of thumb: You can return to driving when you are not in pain to distract you from operating the vehicle and you are not taking any pain medications that would put you under the influence of any opioid narcotic medications.

Post-Operative Wound Care

  1. Keep the surgical dressing on for 2 days after
    1. Remove the dressing on the morning 2 days after surgery and there will be steristrips covering the
    2. The steristrips should fall off on their Once they fall off, the wounds are sufficiently healed.
    3. Do not put any creams, lotions, ointments on wound
  2. You can shower once the surgical dressing has been removed 2 days after surgery.
    1. Do not soak or submerge the wounds, just shower.
    2. You can let soapy water run quickly over the wounds and then rinse but otherwise keep the water away from the wounds.
    3. No baths, pools, jacuzzi’s until your wounds are completely healed into a well healed scar.
    4. Pat the wounds completely dry after the shower.
    5. Keeps wounds clean and dry
  3. Keep the wounds open to air after removing the surgical
    1. Do not cover the wounds unless there is drainage from the wounds and directed by Dr. Park.

Post-Operative Follow- Up

  1. Dr. Park’s office will schedule the first postoperative follow up appointment 2 weeks after surgery.
  2. If there are any issues or concerns, please call Dr. Park’s office at , John Kim (Spine Coordinator) at .
  3. If there is any urgent or emergent issue, call the hospital operator at and ask for the orthopaedic spine surgery resident on call to be paged. The spine surgery resident on call will triage the issue and contact Dr. Park.

Other Related Topics

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • North American Spine Society
  • California Orthopaedic Association
  • Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Korean American Spine Society
  • International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Research Society